Saturday, 15 November 2014

Shrot story writing tip 9and other stuff)

I have decided to stop looking for a man. It’s too depressing. 
If he’s out there, we’ll find each other, somehow. It’s time to let fate step in and ditch the dating sites.  I’m ditching other things too.
I struggle when it comes to letting myself off the leash.  I have taken on duties and roles that I don’t enjoy, and gone to events hoping to meet somebody. From now on, if it isn’t fun,  interesting or potentially rewarding, it has to go.
Now whether I’ll manage stick to that, is another matter.  
November was meant to be novel writing month but that hasn’t happened (yet). 
I respond well to deadlines, IF they come from somebody else. For example, if an agent wanted to see a completed book, I’d get it written, or when I know a fiction editor needs one thousand worders, I can produce them. It’s giving myself deadlines that doesn’t seem to work. I know that’s weird but there you are.
Regarding short stories, it’s been a good year, even though I’ve been working part time so I will take a lesson from that and see if I can make more progress towards the goal of finding the right balance. Work hard, play hard sounds good to me.  I’m making room in  my life so that when an opportunity comes along I can take it. I feel bad about this. I feel bad about giving up voluntary work but I can come back to it later, once my l own life is in better shape.  In short, I need to learn to value myself and not have to rely on other people for validation.
As this blog is supposed to be about writing, I’ve decided to pass on a tip to anyone who wants to write a short story for a woman’s magazine. It goes like this. Ask yourself these  questions.
Does the story have a message or a theme? If so, what is it? If not, why not?  
Can I describe the plot in one sentence?
One of the biggest problems I see when people send me their work for feedback is lack of focus. Stories start in one place then ramble off in another direction. It’s important to remember that a short story is a snapshot, not an entire film, It’s all about focus, making the most from very little. And, for me at least, above all else, it’s about the characters. Once a reader starts to care what happens to them, you’re more than half way there.

1 comment:

  1. Good advice re the short story writing, Linda. As for the man thing - believe it or not, one - in fact, The One - can just turn up on your doorstep when you're least expecting it and not even looking. I speak from personal experience after a decade of kissing frogs, so take heart. If it's meant to happen, it will when the time is right. x

    Oh, and don't feel bad about not doing things you think you 'should' be doing and putting yourself first. Right now that's exactly what you need to be doing.